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One beef about Origins

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Onion Man

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« on: (03:37:02/06-26-11) »
Not to say that the experience hasn't been all around fantastic, I couldn't really ask for a better environment for me to be creative and assertive, but at the same time here I go.  The only run that has presented any real challenge hads been the scramble, which doesn't really include much random but includes a LOT of decision theory, which just isn't quite the same.

I recognize that designing a scenario for a completely unknown group of protagonists is a challenge that swings very quickly from underwhelming to impossible, but my voodoo touch mage has yet to face a serious challenge and has gained what I'll describe as a "ton" of karma for 3 days of gaming (9 runs, 7 and change karma each).  The advancement has been awesome and tons of fun, but the challenge has been mostly created by having a built in negative synbiosis with nojose's character and occasionally being the antagonistic foil for the group.

A more experienced player had suggested at the most recent table that we increse the table rating from what3ever it normally is to 4.  For saqke of time we couldn't do that on the fly, but the run was something of a gimme.  Lots of fu8n and rewarding, but missing that integral challenge element, (already spoke with the GM about it, would talk to9 Bull about it but he'll almost certainly read it here).

Again, tons of fun, but not terribly challenging.  With any luck and personla initiative we'll bring some con play back to the Milwaukee area soon, but it would be really nice to have some sort of enhanced challenge rating for players that have Tony Hawked the system a little bit.  Nojose and I combine to form something of a Pun-pun.
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A.A. Salati

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« Reply #1 on: (18:42:01/06-26-11) »
How did these turn out?

CMP 2011-02 The Prize of Failure
SRM 04-02 Extraction
« Last Edit: (18:43:47/06-26-11) by A.A. Salati »
A.A. Salati

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Onion Man

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« Reply #2 on: (01:01:01/06-27-11) »
Prize of Failure wasn't one of the 10 events I participated in.  Without revealing too much about it, Extraction was a blast, and earned me a gift card, but wasn't exactly a challenge.  It was pretty much resolved with one big stunball, but we had two runners in my group that are using 'soon to be forbidden' builds.
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lurkeroutthere

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« Reply #3 on: (05:33:18/06-27-11) »
Ok i played a few tables with you and i'll just say this, If you are going to A) both play one of the most overpowered archietypes in the game and then B) Not bother to learn the rules of said archietype (things like what background count does to your spirits and sustained spells) it is hard to take you seriously when you say the runs need to be more challenging. Some of it is the GM's didn't hammer you with astral threats for walking around constantly possesed by a loa, nor did they use the one remaining drawback such possesion still has even with channeling that being that you cannot speak.

Even having said that I still had fun playing at the tables we sat together (for the sake of full disclosure this is Lifeseeker/Galen) and your still far from the most annoying possession mage I've dealt with, you didn't for example tried to get involved in every roll made at the table because you had access to task spirits, but magic has always been a bit of Dynamite in rock paper scissors in fourth edition and possesion mages just take back what few drawbacks it has. Things that challenge you will wipe others or require the GM or take time away from other players to hit you with the universe constraints your not self observing.

Just my two nuyen.
"And if the options are "talk to him like a grown up" versus "LOLOLOL murder him in his face until he doesn't come back," I know which suggestion I'm making." - Critias

No team I'm on has ever had a problem with group think.

Onion Man

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« Reply #4 on: (17:02:03/06-27-11) »
Good to hear from you Galen.

Can't speak while possessed, got it.  I'll stick to text via the comlink and be sure to buy AR gloves before he gets played again (can you use just one AR glove?)

The last table of the con we turned the table rating up and things were much, much more challenging.

Between the rapid assembly of Jolly here on the forums and four days at the con, my rules knowledge has gone from nearly zero to somewhat terrified of being knocked out while possessed and having my spirit of man go ape all over Re:Pwn using me as a sock puppet.  Still shaky on some things (plenty of things, but now equipped with a stack of books instead of pdfs and completely sold on abandoning D&D for SR4, way more fun, way less time consuming, way less gotcha.

Honestly, I didn't realize how overpowered possession traditions were until partway through Friday, a lot of the folks here were describing the build as sub-optimal and the veterans from my local group had me convinced that a combat juggernaut was pretty much necessary (no idea where they got that idea).  I wasn't even looking at self possession as his main action when I was putting it together and was sort of steered into it via comments.  I was originally looking at someone who was more interested in having spirits possess opponents and featured objects to manipulate the world around him with self possession only as an oh frag contingency.

In the interest of not being "that guy" and with the fact that I'm not terribly likely to make it out to another big con with all the things going on in my fleshy life, Baron Jolly is staring down the barrel of an early semi-retirement.  Not sure what I'd put together for the future, but playing something grossly overpowered is only fun for a while before it becomes meh.  I might have to pick your brain about technomancy in the near future though... my horribly incompetent rigger is presently on the run from the Black Lotus (rest of the group doesn't know about it) and has no real plan of returning to Calfree if he even survives the rest of our run in Lagos (he's from Kowloon, Lagos doesn't seem so bad to him).  I still half expect him to break hi neck falling out of the van or to slip and fall in shallow water or just be stunned out and sold to the Local Boys.

Edit: Oh, yeah... and in several of those missions I could have just as well said that all Jolly did was stand around and there still would have been a nearly identical result.  I doubt that the next character I bring to a con will have much of anything in the way of combat skills, utility/helper characters look far more in demand than combat juggernauts.
« Last Edit: (17:12:21/06-27-11) by Onion Man »
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DireRadiant

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« Reply #5 on: (18:32:26/06-27-11) »
Glass cannons.

If you want to get hurt do something stupid. Eventually you'll get hurt.

It's a tricky balance for the Mission GM, in your case, what can hurt or challenge the possession mage yet not kill the Hacker, TM, and Dronomancer? Something that confronts the group that challenges the possession mage is very likely to kill the rest.

In any case, establishing full control of the environment and the security feeds, even with the short triggering of the glomoss, meant the KE Astral Sec Mage, the KE HTR team, and pop up HMGs did not go to work pounding some poor spirit infested fool flying ten feet off the ground with his hands in holding onto hand cuffs. Not to mention the patrol cars running you over as you try to balance an entire family in your arms.

The reward for reasonable planning and execution is not getting hurt. You did a reasonably good job going in it seems arbitrary to have a fight start for no good reason.

There's also the fact it's a 4 hour slot. Really 3.5 hours. Pacing is a challenge, if needed, we could have squeezed a nice firefight at the end, which would have had even more firepower available to play with.

If you really wanted to get hurt, you should have gone more out of your way to mess up the mission. :)

Dr. Meatgrinder

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« Reply #6 on: (19:11:20/06-27-11) »
Much as I hate background counts, I see them becoming more common in Missions.  A BC will make the scene much more challenging for most magic-types (unless they have at least Cleansing, if not Filtering, metamagic) without hosing the non-magic characters.
Guiding principle for game balance:  Players avoid underpowered stuff and flock to overpowered stuff.
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Onion Man

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« Reply #7 on: (19:14:22/06-27-11) »
See, now any of that would have gone miles and miles towards feeling a challenge (not a player challenge, mind you, a challenge to the character) even if it had been easily overcome without going into a messy or time consuming combat.  Really any check against steamrolling the mission would have been awesome.  Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't have minded at all if Jolly had been hit by some sort of urban response APC full of KE or Horizon personnel after some of the more outrageous successes... after all, there are consequences to stunballing an entire corp Gala.

Then again, I can see where that might (would) have resulted in some undue punishment for the other runners involved.

Really, I had no idea what to expect out of Missions and I'm glad to see it's not as "competitive", for lack of a better word on the tip of my fingers, as the Living campaigns were for D&D.  I have way more fun making someone memorable than I do rolling lots of dice and getting away Scot-free.

I think what I'm going to do is talk to Bull about tweaking Jolly back toward my original concept of an object/corpse possessor to bring him back into a more normal power scale (and of course actually have the time to pore over the magician rules) before bringing him back to an event.  Otherwise he'll probably just get back-burnered and brought out for things like the scramble, where being a voodoo sock is more flavor and less rules.  At least until he can be properly retired and go villain (which I suspect will be a more appropriate role for a voodoo sock in future missions anyway).
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nimrod_funk

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« Reply #8 on: (14:24:26/06-28-11) »
Are they still doing Tourney's at Origins? That might be a better more challenging in general game than something like a Mission. I never really saw a mission as being "challenging". Missions to me were originally just adventures that would give a unified campaign across locales. It's been a while and I've not had the time or energy to run SR 4 after my last campaign came to an end.

A tournament might be a better game for players to be challenged no so much by the game but by the decisions they make. Something similar to the old RPGA tourney's of yore. My favorite being "To find a king" but that was during the times of leaded minis, transformers, Go-bots, Pee-wee's playhouse and VHS. 

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DireRadiant

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« Reply #9 on: (15:25:44/06-28-11) »
Origins doesn't have a tournament event currently. There is a tournament event at Gencon.

Onion Man

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« Reply #10 on: (15:31:58/06-28-11) »
Oy.  It has to be at the one con that I have sworn not to attend until it returns home, to Wisconsin...

A tournament or grand prix type event would be awesome... not sure that 272 tickets would really be enough to warrant a grand prix though.
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squee_nabob

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« Reply #11 on: (16:39:18/06-28-11) »
Remember spirits cannot use machines or the matrix. I think that means you canít use AR while possessed, or get tacnet bonuses, but I am not 100% sure.

UmaroVI

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« Reply #12 on: (21:43:20/06-28-11) »
Honestly, it's really hard to balance Missions combat for any possible group that might show up. It's also pretty hard to balance against a particular player without screwing over other people, eg, if BC 4 suddenly pops up to stop a Channeller from making the street samurai cry themselves to sleep, it also makes the unarmed combat adept go from iffy to useless.

I honestly think it's best to not balance Missions around the assumption that the combats must be a challenge to every group; some groups might be able to stomp on the combats, but they might have more trouble with other parts of the game.

I can't speak for everyone, but I don't play SR or SRM for the 'tactical' combat and neither do any of my friends. There's plenty of other ways to challenge players. For example, in Ancient Pawns, the group I played with roflpwnt the combats - but we felt challenged by other parts of the adventure such as the time limit, avoiding having to roflpwn people we liked, the jacking, stopping people without injuring them, etc.




Critias

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« Reply #13 on: (23:59:21/06-28-11) »
One of the things we write into every scene of an adventure are options for how a GM can ramp up the difficulty.  One of the problems with GMing at a convention, though, is that it's very, very, difficult to ramp up the difficulty because you're not intimately familiar with each character and what they can/can't handle.  It's a whole lot easier to play "on the fly" with a regular weekly crew where you know how good folks are...so even when we put options in there, it's pretty tough for a GM to utilize them sometimes (especially if it's one uber-dude and everyone else shows up with starting characters).  It's hard to get the right balance.

KarmaInferno

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« Reply #14 on: (00:48:47/06-29-11) »
Remember spirits cannot use machines or the matrix. I think that means you canít use AR while possessed, or get tacnet bonuses, but I am not 100% sure.

Well, spirits can't use the Matrix for sure, but mechanical devices and should be doable if the spirit (task spirit, most likely) has the relevant skill.

The tricky part is how to get data back out of a machine in a form a spirit can actually read.

:)



-k